In this latest adventure, Thor has experienced visions of Ragnarok, the end times in Norse mythology and the rise of fiery demon god Surtur (motion captured by Taika Waititi and voiced by Clancy Brown). This looks all to be certain by the emergence of the Goddess of Death Hela (Cate Blanchett) who takes over Thor’s home Asgard, shatters his hammer Mjolnir and inadvertently banishes him to the strange planet of Sakoor, led by the enigmatic Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Thor is forced to fight in a gladiator match where his opponent is, much to his surprise (and glee), the Hulk, who ended up on the planet following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. With a fellow Avenger by his side, Thor must find a way to escape from Sakoor and return to Asgard in order to stop Hela and prevent Ragnarok from happening.
Right away it can be said that this is by far the best Thor movie and a lot of it can be put down to its strong spectacle and humour. Visually Ragnarok is absolutely stunning – the planet of Sakoor is gorgeous to look at with the contrasts between the dirty litter ridden streets at the bottom of the planet and the colourful almost psychedelic interior of the planet’s buildings – it truly makes you think that this is a crazy world that Thor has found himself on and the truly engaging spectacle just shows off the pure imagination of the writers. This is complimented by a fantastic score by Mark Mothersbaugh, who brings in 80s sounding keyboards into his music to create the out there sci-fi tone of the film whilst also working well with the dramatic moments. The humour meanwhile is some of the best that we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and makes the film challenge Guardians of the Galaxy as the funniest film in the franchise – every character gets at least one funny moment and none of it feels forced, with the standout humorous character being Korg, a rock monster whom Thor befriends that plans constant revolutions – and is voiced by director Taika Waititi with his high pitched New Zealand accent, which helps to bring a sense of levity to the character. Additionally, the movie doesn’t hesitate to get serious when it needs to be; Ragnarok is a threat and Hela’s actions are menacing, which the film doesn’t mishandle. This makes Ragnarok almost simultaneously the lightest and the darkest Thor film, where it’s tonnes of fun throughout but never loses that sense of threat that’s going on.
Thor: Ragnarok ranks as not just the best Thor film by a mile but it may be the best film to feature the character – it really does for him what The Winter Soldier did for Captain America and elevates him up from being an OK if not a little uninteresting character into a far more exciting and fun presence. Director Taika Waititi and the writers really came up with a visually spectacular and imaginative piece of filmmaking that is always engaging and delivers gags at such a rapid rate that you’ll be hardly pausing for breath throughout. The new characters are all fantastic and the presence of the Hulk really assists Ragnarok in becoming such a fun thrill ride, which ultimately elevates the film into becoming one of the absolute best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Thor: Ragnarok – directed by Taika Waititi, screenplay by Eric Pearson, story by Pearson, Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, produced by Kevin Feige, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins. A Marvel Studios production, a Disney film